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Illinois Man Arrested For Hoax Bomb Threat

Washington, D.C. – United States Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein announced that Max L. Oakley, age 50, of Toledo, Illinois, was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigations today on charges of sending e-mail threats to bomb the headquarters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) located in Washington, DC.

The criminal complaint charges Oakley with a violation Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(e), for willfully making a threat and maliciously conveying false information knowing the same to be false, in and affecting interstate commerce, by sending e-mails concerning an alleged attempt to be made to destroy a building by means of an explosive. If Oakley is convicted of these charges he faces up to ten years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to the criminal complaint, in the early morning hours on July 29, 2005, CAIR received e-mails advising that everything was in place to take out the CAIR headquarters and all mosques, and that the only way to stop these attacks was to make a public announcement on national television and all cable news stations by 9:00 o’clock p.m. that night that CAIR was closing down. Officers of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit searched the building with K-9 dogs, but found no evidence of explosives.

Agents of the FBI quickly determined that the person sending these e-mails was Max L. Oakley of Toledo, Illinois. When FBI agents interviewed Oakley prior to the 9:00 p.m. deadline, he admitted that he had sent e-mails to CAIR and that the email address from which the emails were sent belonged to him.

In announcing the arrest, United States Attorney Wainstein stated, “As today’s arrest demonstrates, law enforcement shows no tolerance for those who use e-mail to spread hateful anti-Islamic rhetoric and threaten violence against innocent persons and organizations.”

Oakley is expected to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge in East St. Louis or Benton, Illinois for a removal hearing.

For Information Contact:
Public Affairs
Channing Phillips (202) 514-6933


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